Fast Lane: Honda develops one of the fastest pick-up trucks

Civic Type R Pickup Truck concept
Civic Type R Pickup Truck conceptPHOTO: HONDA
C5 Aircross sport utility vehicle
C5 Aircross sport utility vehiclePHOTO: CITROEN
Honda Jet Elite
Honda Jet ElitePHOTO: HONDA
Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen PassatPHOTO: TONY TAN
A rider-less motorcycle
A rider-less motorcyclePHOTO: AB DYNAMICS

Honda develops one of the fastest pick-up trucks

Honda United Kingdom has showcased a Civic Type R Pickup Truck concept. Built by a specialist team from the product engineering department at the Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) factory in Swindon and codenamed Project P, the vehicle has been modified and developed from the standard road car to create, potentially, one of the fastest pick-up trucks on UK roads.

The team used a pre-production car, retaining its iconic rear wing, which is movable to allow direct and unfettered access to the rear of the truck. Using the same powertrain, suspension and gearbox as the standard road car, it is estimated Project P will complete the century sprint in under six seconds and reach a top speed of more than 264kmh.

China's Foton Motor and Italy's Piaggio Group in a tie-up

China's Foton Motor and Italy's Piaggio Group are jointly developing a new light-duty commercial vehicle in Italy. The new four-wheel light-duty commercial vehicle is based on the present mini-truck product platform of Foton Motor.

In the future, the two parties will develop the new electric vehicles and enter the Middle Eastern, South-east Asian, Central and South American, and African markets.

Bulletproof Skoda Superb

Skoda has created an armoured Superb, complete with bullet-resistant glass, high-strength steel and composite materials.

Based on a standard 190hp 2.0TDI Superb Estate, the car's passenger cell has been reinforced to meet PAS 300 requirements for ballistic and blast protection. This certification was carried out by an independent test facility and involved firing different types of ammunition at the vehicle and exposing it to blast and fragmentation threats.

The suspension and braking systems have been upgraded to account for the additional weight.

Citroen C5 Aircross with plug-in hybrid powertrain

Citroen has revealed the European version of its C5 Aircross sport utility vehicle, which is available in 30 colour combinations. It is touted as "the most comfortable model in its segment", thanks to hydraulic suspension and Advanced Comfort seats. It has three individual sliding, folding and reclining rear seats, and best-in-class boot space.

The car has up to 20 driver assistance systems (including Highway Driver Assist and Grip Control) and wireless phone charging. It will also be the first Citroen with a plug-in hybrid powertrain by the end of next year. The car measures 4.5m long, 1.84m wide and 1.67m high, with a ground clearance of 230mm and a wheelbase of 2.73m.

Draw a football pitch with self-driving robot

Nissan has unveiled an autonomous robot which can draw football pitches wherever there is space. Named Pitch-R, the robot is inspired by Nissan's advanced ProPilot driver assistance technology. ProPilot is available on the electric Leaf and on the Qashqai, Europe's best-selling crossover.

The Pitch-R robot features a four-camera system, GPS tracking and collision avoidance systems. It can draw white lines on grass, tarmac or gravel with eco-friendly dissolvable paint. It is powered by a rechargeable battery pack. It can create pitches for five-a-side, seven-a-side or 11-a-side teams. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes.

Honda Aircraft Company unveils the HondaJet Elite

Honda Aircraft Company has revealed a new aircraft, the HondaJet Elite, at a special hangar event ahead of this year's European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva.

The HondaJet Elite has achieved an extended range of an additional 17 per cent (+396km) and is equipped with a newly developed noise-attenuating inlet structure that lines each engine and greatly reduces high-frequency noise.

Research plate Volkswagen Passat spotted here

This Volkswagen Passat was sighted here wearing a research number plate, but no one wants to reveal why the ordinary-looking car was granted this tax-free status. Usually, research plate cars are part of a test-bed.

Waived of registration tax and a certificate of entitlement, they must be deregistered when the test-bed is over. Volkswagen Centre Singapore says privacy laws do not allow it to divulge any information about the car, while the Land Transport Authority has not responded to queries.

Self-driving bike to help test autonomous cars

A rider-less motorcycle, co-developed by AB Dynamics, one of the leading suppliers of advanced automotive test systems, will allow autonomous cars to be tested under much more challenging and representative conditions. Unlike slow-moving pedestrians and cyclists, the combination of rapid acceleration and extreme manoeuvrability means motorcycles present a particular challenge to an autonomous vehicle or advanced driver assistance systems.

Tests carried out with the rider-less bike will avoid risks to a human rider. Based on a BMW C1, the bike can overtake, filter and lane-split.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe